Show don’t tell

As a magazine and book editor, I’ve often hissed “show don’t tell!” at my writers. Because I’m a technologically and time-challenged hypocrite who deserves to be smacked with a tube sock full of pennies, I haven’t done much showing the past couple of posts that deal with racialized stereotypes in Precious.

So below, (as we say in the setup of magazine service pieces) two images and explanatory text that I’ve swiped borrowed from one of my favorites, the website of The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University. They come from a 2002 exploration of the Jezebel stereotype written by Dr. David Pilgrim, Professor of Sociology.

Mean-spirited, stereotypical image of pregnant dark-skinned woman used as political propoganda

Whenever I get the itch to feel nauseous, I look at this.

“In the 1964 presidential election between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater, Johnson used the political slogan, “All the way with LBJ.” A mid-1960s license plate shows a caricatured Black woman, pregnant, with these words, “Ah went all de way wib LBJ.” Johnson received overwhelming support from Black voters. The image on the license plate, which also appeared on posters and smaller prints, insults Blacks generally, Black Democrats, and Black women.”

What the f@#k?

This is a racist depiction of an 8-year-old. She's supposed to be pregnant.

“Another postcard (circa 1950s) shows a Black girl, approximately eight years old, standing in a watermelon patch. She has a protruding stomach. The caption reads: “Oh-I is Not!…It Must Be Sumthin’ I Et!!” Her exposed right shoulder and the churlish grin suggest that the protruding stomach resulted from a sexual experience, not overeating. The portrayal of this prepubescent girl as pregnant suggests that Black females are sexually active and sexually irresponsible even as small children.”

Please read the whole essay using the above link.

Peace, power, joy.




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2 responses to “Show don’t tell

    • smallmediumlarge

      just saw ’em. also saw a comment about you misapplying your own cultural reference that would make my head spin. keep up your great work and eff the intellectual mastubators.

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